Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Help your young children to learn

Preschool children have a special talent for memorizing and remembering rhymes, Annie Holmquist writes

A recent study found that, compared to their parents and other older adults, young children are able to recall “nearly twice as many correct words” from the rhyming stories they hear, all while making “far fewer errors.”

Which should not be surprising. Oxford scholar Dorothy Sayers noted in 1947 that children follow three stages of development, the earliest of which she calls the “Poll-Parrot” stage:
“The Poll-Parrot stage is the one in which learning by heart is easy and, on the whole, pleasurable; whereas reasoning is difficult and, on the whole, little relished. At this age, one readily memorizes the shapes and appearances of things; one likes to recite the number-plates of cars; one rejoices in the chanting of rhymes and the rumble and thunder of unintelligible polysyllables; one enjoys the mere accumulation of things.”
The problem, Holmquist writes, is that many schools no longer capitalize on this Poll-Parrot stage, losing valuable opportunities to lay a firm foundation of facts for future learning. To combat such a loss of time and energy, she says,  Sayers suggests that the following six subjects be diligently taught to young children while they still possess a great capacity for memorization through rhyming: Latin, foreign languages, English, history, geography and math.

I apologize to all children out there, who, as a result of this post, will be dragged, kicking and screaming, from their smart phones and smart TVs by very smart parents.

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